The number of people living with HIV in Vietnam is sharply increasing. Cases jumped during a four-year period from 1999 to 2003 from approximately 96,000 to 245,000.Today it’s estimated that about 300,000 Vietnamese are living with HIV.
PSI/Vietnam promotes HIV programs and services that empower most-at-risk populations to lead healthier lives. In Vietnam, the most-at-risk include: injecting drug users (IDU), sex workers (SW), men having sex with men (MSM), and the sexual partners of vulnerable groups, such as male clients of sex workers. Highlights from each of these program areas include:
Changing High-Risk Sexual Behavior among Male Clients of Sex Workers
PSI/Vietnam implements an integrated behavior change campaign to promote safer sexual behavior among male clients of sex workers. It uses mass media to surround the target audience and targeted interpersonal communication activities to engage the audience. PSI/Vietnam’s outreach team is remarkably effective and reaches more than 60,000 male clients per month. PSI/Vietnam is the only organization in the PEPFAR portfolio working on a large scale with this high-risk group.
Learn more about PSI/Vietnam's programs that target male clients of sex workers.
Condom Social Marketing
In addition to promoting condom use through targeted behavior change communication activities, PSI/Vietnam works to increase condom availability in high risk areas and non-traditional outlets including guest-houses, hotels, street vendors, cafes, and massage parlors. By convincing owners of non-traditional outlets and entertainment establishments to purchase and promote condoms, PSI/Vietnam’s social marketing program is promoting a sustainable approach to HIV programming. PSI/Vietnam works closely with USAID, VAAC and the provincial government to provide technical assistance, develop social marketing programs and coordinate condom distribution. PSI/Vietnam also promotes female condoms for SW and water-based lubricants co-packaged with male condoms for MSM and SW.
Learn more about condom social marketing in Vietnam.
Communications Support for HIV Services
PSI/Vietnam promotes the use of free and confidential HIV VCT services for MARP through its Chan Troi Moi (“New Horizon”) campaign. The campaign supports 67 VCT sites in seven provinces and also includes mass media channels such as billboards in high-risk sites, online and print media to reach male clients and MSM along with community mobilization events and direct marketing strategies for SW and MSM. Partners throughout the country say this high-profile campaign is one of the first at that scale to directly address and help de-stigmatize HIV and related issues.
PSI/Vietnam also promotes early HIV testing among pregnant women seeking antenatal services. PSI/Vietnam’s generic campaign supports CDC/Life-GAP project sites in seven provinces with communication campaigns designed to improve the use of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services. PSI/Vietnam was also invited to sub-contract under Save the Children to extend PMTCT communication support to four other provinces in 2010.
Sex Worker - IDU Interventions and the Break the Cycle Model
PSI supports outreach workers who target sex workers, with a special focus on sex workers who are drug users. PSI’s Song Dep outreach program promotes safer sexual practices and the use of VCT services while discouraging unsafe injecting practices among sex workers who use drugs. This project is implemented in four high HIV prevalence provinces and is the only intervention in Vietnam targeting this group with messages around the dual risk of HIV infection by promoting safer sexual practices and use of VCT services, while reducing unsafe injecting practices and preventing initiation into drug use. It’s also the only intervention in Vietnam using the Unique Identifier Code (UIC) information system for monitoring purposes to track quality and coverage.
In 2009, PSI launched the Break the Cycle program, which incorporates an evidence-based model developed in the UK and successfully implemented by PSI in Central Asia to prevent existing drug users from initiating new users. PSI provides technical assistance research, training, communication materials, and ongoing support and helps integrate the BTC model into existing partner programs targeting male injecting drug users.
Learn more about PSI/Vietnam's programs with sex workers.
PSI/Vietnam’s Safe Water program provides access to diluted sodium hypochlorite solution to treat water at the household level. In 2010, PSI re-launched the SafeWat product in two provinces in response to the high prevalence of diarrhea and cholera in the Mekong Delta region. PSI’s current model aims to achieve cost recovery within two years of the product re-launch using a combination of domestic manufacturing and market building activities. PSI/Vietnam estimates that this program helps avert more than 17,000 episodes of diarrhea annually. Additionally, the solution and bottles are produced in Vietnam, and the demand generated for these products supports the domestic economy.